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Scientists are creating super soldier ants…a good idea?

Scientists are creating super soldier ants…a good idea?

Researchers and scientists from McGill University in Canada had discovered that the ant species Pheidole morrisi has all the tools needed to become a big headed monster. All the researchers had to do was dab an ant larvae with a hormone and like magic a regular worker ant became a super soldier. Pictured below. Read the full story on the Daily Mail.

VIa http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2012/01/06/article-2082799-0F59237D00000578-750_634x438.jpg

Do you think this is a good idea?

Pest Management in Commercial Buildings

Pests are attracted to sources of food, water and shelter – three things that restaurants and commercial food facilities provide in spades. Without taking proper preventative steps, restaurants and food service facilities could see populations of rodents, flies, cockroaches, ants and more.

Many restaurants and food service facilities have already contracted with pest professionals to prevent infestations from occurring. A working partnership between facility managers and licensed, trained pest professionals is critical in controlling pest populations.

Licensed and professionally trained pest professionals are best suited to keep health and property-threatening pests in check. Today’s pest professionals have the training necessary to identify pest problems and recommend the most responsible and effective pest management methods available. But, restaurants and commercial food facilities should train their internal staff to work as partners with pest professionals.  While these locations may receive regular service from their contracted pest management firm, internal employees can take steps every day to help reduce pest populations.

Are there steps a restaurant or food service facility can take on their own to prevent/control pest populations?

  1. Seal up any cracks and holes on the outside of the facility including areas where utilities and pipes enter.
  2. Make sure vents are screened and gaps around windows and doors are sealed.
  3. Keep tree branches and shrubbery well trimmed.
  4. Inspect boxes, bags and other packaging thoroughly to curb hitchhiking pests.
  5. Don’t allow food to sit on counters or shelves in open containers.  All food and water sources should be kept sealed unless currently in use.
  6. Clean all food spills regularly.
  7. Store garbage in sealed containers and dispose of it regularly.
  8. Replace weather-stripping and repair loose mortar around the basement foundation and windows.
  9. Never store food on the floor.  Always lift it up on shelves so that rodents and insects do not have easy access.
  10. Comply will all regulations regarding pests in food service facilities.
  11. A licensed and qualified pest professional is your best resource to ensure these steps are completed properly.

The National Pest Management Association recommends that restaurants and food service facilities implement an integrated pest management (IPM) program.  IPM is a process involving common sense and sound solutions for treating and controlling pests. These solutions incorporate three basic steps: 1) inspection, 2) identification and 3) treatment. Treatment options vary from sealing cracks and removing food and water sources to pesticide treatments when necessary.

What should a restaurant, food service facility or homeowner look for when hiring a pest professional?

  • Ask friends, neighbors and other reputable businesses to recommend pest control companies they have used successfully and how satisfied they were with the service.
  • If a sizable amount of money is involved, get bids from several pest control companies.
  • Don’t rush a decision. Since you are paying for professional knowledge, look for someone whose judgment you can trust.
  • Before signing a contract, be sure to fully understand the nature of the pest, the extent of the infestation, and the work necessary to solve the problem.
  • Find out if the pest control company has liability insurance to cover any damages to your house or furnishings during treatment.
  • If a guarantee is given, know what it covers, how long it lasts, what you must do to keep it in force, and what kind of continuing control, prevention and management are necessary.
  • Buy value, not price. Beware of bargains that sound too good to be true.

Research Shows Lack of Consumer Knowledge About Cockroaches & Asthma

A national study on factors that affect asthma in inner-city children shows that cockroach allergens appear to worsen asthma symptoms more than other known triggers.  This study, funded by National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), is the first large-scale study to rank asthma triggers according to severity.

Additionally, a 2005 research study, sponsored by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), shows a disparity in homeowner knowledge about this link.  Only 10% of homeowners nationwide feel that cockroaches are a threat to their family’s health.

Fortunately for homeowners, there is a solution for this asthma trigger.  Professional pest control services are proven to reduce cockroach populations, which in turn, reduces the number of allergens that trigger children’s asthma attacks.

This sentiment was echoed by NIEHS Director Kenneth Olden, Ph.D in recently published articles where he cites “proven exterminating techniques” as a key component in reducing allergen populations.  While that is true, It is vital that these proven techniques are completed by a professional pest control company with the training and certifications necessary to treat the infestations.

For further information, visit www.bugs.com

Hulett Environmental reminds homeowners to be cautious of insects of foreign origin

Hulett Environmental reminds homeowners to be cautious of insects of foreign origin

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Invasive species, or insects of foreign origin, continue to grow in population, causing major issues for American homeowners. Hulett Environmental Services a pest management company servicing South Florida, urges vigilance against invasive species including Formosan termites and red imported fire ants (RIFAs).

Like many other pests, invasive species tend to make their way into homes during the fall in search of resources and shelter for the winter months ahead. Unfortunately, invasive species can cause severe property damage, and in some cases injury, once inside the home.

Experts at the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), a nonprofit organization committed to the protection of public health, food and property from household pests, encourage homeowners to be especially aware of the Formosan termite, a species of subterranean termite that tends to be more aggressive than its native counterparts. Formosan termites are capable of consuming wood at rapid speeds, which largely contributes to the $5 billion termites cause in property damage every year.

Another common invasive insect is the red imported fire ant, a species mainly found in the southern United States. When disturbed, RIFAs are known to swarm and sting humans repeatedly, often producing painful welts.

Due to the health and property risks posed by invasive species, the NPMA recommends sealing cracks and holes on the exterior of the home with caulk, eliminating sources of water and moisture in and around the house, and frequently inspecting the property for signs of an infestation.

If an infestation is suspected, people should not attempt to control it with do-it-yourself measures.  Instead, contact a licensed pest professional who can identify the species and effectively treat the problem.

For more information on invasive pest species and other pest issues, visit www.bugs.com